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Installing OS on RAID 0

Last response: in Systems
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January 5, 2010 2:35:08 PM

I have a PC with a 10,000 RPM WD Raptor as my boot HDD, running Win XP Pro SP3, and a ~1 TB (3 x 500 GB Seagate HDD) RAID 5 array for data. Ran out of space on Raptor for OS and applications, so I decided to move OS and Apps to a NEW RAID 0 array, using 2 WD 500 GB Caviar Black HDD.

I am using Biostar GF8100 M2+ SE MoBo, with AMD Athlon 64 x2 5000 Brisbane CPU, 2 x 2Gb OCX DDR 800 RAM (ran mem test 86+, 7 passes no errors)

I flashed the BIOS, then reset it to RAID.

I installed the RAID 0 HDD on SATA controllers 1 & 2.

I disconnecte the Raptor and RAID 5 array, to do a Win XP Pro install on the new RAID 0 array. Booted from XP disk, XP loaded files, I hit F6 to load RAID drivers from floppy, after drivers loaded XP begins setup, then "Blue Screen" STOP error prior to HDD (RAID 0) Format & partioning.

Can someone please give me some info that may help me through this. The only thing I have yet to try that I can think of is to find or make a copy of XP with SP 2 or 3 on it, to see if the drivers are different and will get me passed this point.

More about : installing raid

January 5, 2010 3:25:15 PM

This is a very common hardware (BIOS) and Windows XP SP1 problem. You will need to have SP2 or SP3 Windows XP disk to make this work.

Another alternative is to install Windows 7 OEM on the machine, but this will cost you another $100.
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January 6, 2010 2:47:15 AM

Thanks, I tried installing Windows 7, but there are no Win7 RAID drivers avail. for this MoBo. I finally got it to work using Win XP SP2, thanks.

dpaul8 said:
This is a very common hardware (BIOS) and Windows XP SP1 problem. You will need to have SP2 or SP3 Windows XP disk to make this work.

Another alternative is to install Windows 7 OEM on the machine, but this will cost you another $100.

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January 6, 2010 2:38:47 PM

I wish you hadn't got it to work. RAID 0 should not be used on boot drives because there is no redundancy. It's a ticking time bomb. The simpler solution would have been to install new applications on a non-boot drive. There is absolutely no reason why you have to cram everything in c:\Program Files. If you're worried about program launch times you load up on RAM and your programs will stay cached.
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January 7, 2010 1:35:55 PM

Well, I have absolutely no reason to backup my boot drive, I keep all me DATA on my RAID 5 array. I can always rebuild my boot drive if it fails.

vanekl said:
I wish you hadn't got it to work. RAID 0 should not be used on boot drives because there is no redundancy. It's a ticking time bomb. The simpler solution would have been to install new applications on a non-boot drive. There is absolutely no reason why you have to cram everything in c:\Program Files. If you're worried about program launch times you load up on RAM and your programs will stay cached.

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January 7, 2010 3:58:04 PM

Who said anything about backing up data? Think about how RAID 0 works, then think about how often drives fail. If it isn't clear now, it will be.
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January 7, 2010 4:03:18 PM

Plenty of people use single drives for boot, do you take them to task for not having redundancy?

For a home system, using RAID 0 is fine, as long as you're ok with rebuilding as necessary. It sounds like wolfbrancher has put plenty of thought into this. I wouldn't go with RAID 0 as a boot drive for a business server or anything, but that's a totally different story.

@wolfbrancher - have you thought about imaging the clean build to reduce your rebuild time if the RAID 0 container does fail?
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January 7, 2010 4:16:33 PM

Coldsleep,

There is no rebuild time with RAID 0. That's my point. There is not enough redundancy to rebuild. Why? Because it's really not RAID!

But there's more than that. You have also increased your chance of a boot fail by 100% vis a vis one of the most failure-prone components of your system. Just think about it for a second.

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January 7, 2010 4:20:19 PM

vanekl said:
Coldsleep,

There is no rebuild time with RAID 0. That's my point. There is not enough redundancy to rebuild. Why? Because it's really not RAID!

But there's more than that. You have also increased your chance of a boot fail by 100% vis a vis one of the most failure-prone components of your system. Just think about it for a second.


Sorry, by "rebuild" I meant "reinstall the OS". I'm aware that RAID 0 isn't able to rebuild itself, and I'm aware of the increased risk of failure.

If he's aware of the risks and is ok with reinstalling, I don't see a problem. If he's storing critical data on a different device (that is redundant), what's the big deal?
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January 7, 2010 4:30:55 PM


I think it is extremely unwise to purposely put your machine at risk this way, especially considering the odds of failure. You feel otherwise. I just wanted to be crystal that he was taking an unnecessary risk, and with little benefit.
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January 7, 2010 4:37:55 PM

vanekl said:
I think it is extremely unwise to purposely put your machine at risk this way, especially considering the odds of failure. You feel otherwise. I just wanted to be crystal that he was taking an unnecessary risk, and with little benefit.


I'd agree that the benefit is limited, but seeing as how he appears to be aware of the risks, I don't think that I'd go so far as "extremely unwise". I think I'd classify it as "an interesting experiment". Again, it's not a recommendation I'd make to a beginner, but I'd say it's perfectly acceptable for someone that knows what they're doing and has a plan to back up or otherwise store their critical data.

On a related note, I just recommended in another thread that someone that might have less experience not go with RAID 0 unless they're perfectly clear that losing 1 disk will lose all of their data, and suggested just going with 1 boot & 1 storage drive (which isn't strictly redundant, but is more portable to future builds if desired).
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January 7, 2010 4:48:30 PM

I will be imaging the boot drive in the case 1 or both HDD in RAID 0 fail. Thanks for the suggestion. I am aware that I have doubled the risk of boot HDD failure, but I prefer the increase in speed that I benefit from this configuration.

I do not need the RAID 0 accessing speed for any of my data, as those files are relatively small, which is why I am using RAID 5 for my critical data, however all of my software on the bootable RAID 0 is run of the mill stuff, and easily re-installable and by imaging the drive it will be even easier in case of a fail.

Thanks for the comments.
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January 7, 2010 4:53:10 PM

If HDDs rarely failed during the lifetime of a machine, we would be in agreement. But since that is not the case, I stand by my statements. We will just have to agree to disagree because you are still hesitant to recognize the extent that he is changing the odds that his computer will boot. We aren't talking theoreticals; the odds are high this will come back and revisit him.
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January 7, 2010 5:08:03 PM

> but I prefer the increase in speed that I benefit from this configuration.

You wont notice the speed difference. If you take the Pepsi challenge blindfolded you wont be able to tell the difference. Your high-use system files are cached in ram.

The biggest advantage with using RAID 0 is that the size of the volume increases, which gives you more options.

Live and learn.
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